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Review of Gulden Draak Ale

15 Sep
For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be sharing with you another Belgian beer.  This time it’s a Belgian Dark Triple called Gulden Draak produced by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. (vansteenberge.com) located in Ertvelde, Belgium.

This will be the first brew I’ve ever had from this brewery, so I hope it’s a good one. 

Here’s the commercial description on the Gulden Draak Ale.

Gulden Draak is a dark brown Triple ale, which makes it an exception among the Belgian Triples.  The second fermentation offers the nice creamy head, the full body and all the vitamins of the centuries old brewers yeast.  It is a “thick” beer, that you can actually “eat” to adventure the complex taste.  Gulden Draak balances a natural malt toffee-like sweetness with a mellow happiness and some hoppy accents.  The aroma is round, sweet and reveals the 10.5% alcohol by volume

Let’s have a taste.

This brew comes in a very cool looking 11.2 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 10.5%.

It poured a hazy, very dark brown to burgundy color with minimal ruby highlights around the edges when held directly toward a light source.  With a very easy pour I received a 2-fingered head that was light tan, tight, creamy and smooth.  The retention was outstanding and the lacing was thick and consistent.  A steady film was left behind for the entire drinking experience.  It’s truly a very, very nice looking beer. 

The aroma began with hints of well ripened bananas, sweet cherries, raisins and figs.  A wonderful, yeasty/doughy fragrance was noticed along with hints of bubblegum and a prevalent spice of clove.  As the brew started to warm a bit I received ample amounts of alcohol.  This beer is very sweet smelling and very complex, yet remains considerably cordial.

The taste was very boisterous in regards to the alcohol.  Once I got past that, I noticed sweet, dark fruits of cherries, prunes, grapes and figs.  They were almost tart in that regard.  The spicy cloves could not be denied either.  They were very rich and robust.  Further hints of bubblegum intermingled with doughy bread characteristics were also relished.

The mouthfeel was medium to full, thick, chewy and sharp with a forceful burn that gave way to a compelling warmth deep within the chest.  More than enough flavor was left behind until the next sip.

Man, this is a great beer, but it’s somewhat tough for me to drink.  The alcohol is very convincing.  It’s chocked full of flavor and character.  It’s, without a doubt, a sipper.  I would love to cellar a bottle of this for a few years and see if the alcohol subsides a bit.  The Gulden Draak Ale is worth a try for sure, but I doubt that I could have more than one of these during an evening.  This is not a beer that I could drink very often either.  Maybe just a few times a year.  Other than that, I can tell this is a well made, thought out and very good brew.

Have you guys ever tried the Gulden Draak Ale?  What did you think of it?  Leave a comment and let me know how you perceived it.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I’m always grateful.

Cheers.

Score:  4.15 out of 5
Grade:  A-   

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6 Comments

Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Country: Belgium, Van Steenberge

 

6 responses to “Review of Gulden Draak Ale

  1. Jimmi Adair

    September 16, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I know I've asked you before, but where do you usually go to buy these non-mainstream brews? Also, did you ever get around to trying Shock Top? It too is Belgian-style I believe.

     
  2. Jimmi Adair

    September 16, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I know I've asked you before, but where do you usually go to buy these non-mainstream brews? Also, did you ever get around to trying Shock Top? It too is Belgian-style I believe.

     
  3. shrews824

    September 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Jimmi,

    I do most of my shopping at Chuck's Wine and Spirits in Bowling Green, however I have frequented a few of the Liquor Barn locations in Louisville. They tend to have a pretty good selection. I have written a post on Chuck's and it is listed under my “popular” posts to the left of this page.

    Also, I have yet to review the Shock Top, but next time I go shopping I will try to pick one up and review it for you.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Scott

     
  4. shrews824

    September 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Jimmi,

    I do most of my shopping at Chuck's Wine and Spirits in Bowling Green, however I have frequented a few of the Liquor Barn locations in Louisville. They tend to have a pretty good selection. I have written a post on Chuck's and it is listed under my “popular” posts to the left of this page.

    Also, I have yet to review the Shock Top, but next time I go shopping I will try to pick one up and review it for you.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Scott

     
  5. Jimmi Adair

    September 18, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Good deal. I'm eager to see what ya think!

     
  6. Jimmi Adair

    September 18, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Good deal. I'm eager to see what ya think!

     

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